For those who haven't been following video game news closely: Square Enix Presents is a showcase that gives gamers a glimpse of what to expect from titles developed and/or published by Square Enix in the next couple of months.
The first-ever Square Enix Presents was announced in early March and it seems Square Enix intends to make it a regular series, with the next one scheduled for Summer 2021.
It's been a big year so far for Square Enix. Hot on the heels of 2021's first State of Play showcase, the Japanese entertainment conglomerate decided to hold their own showcase in the form of Square Enix Presents.
This Square Enix Presents highlighted 10 different games and expansions for a variety of platforms. This includes everything from mobile titles like Just Cause Mobile to expansions like Marvel's Avengers Black Panther: War for Wakanda.
However, the biggest news of them all was arguably Life is Strange: True Colors and Forspoken.
The newest installment in the Life is Strange franchise will feature an entirely new protagonist with a new set of powers. Also, unlike the previous two games, Life is Strange: True Colors will be available as a complete game at launch, so you won't have to wait for the next episode to release to find out what's going to happen.
The other title, Forspoken, is formerly known as Project Althia, is a PS5-exclusive title with a 2022 release date.
So, without further ado, let's get started.
First up is the upcoming shooter-looter from People Can Fly.
As promised, Square Enix included Outriders in the showcase, showing fans and audiences entirely new footage that isn't available for the game's demo.
Outriders all go for its April 1 launch date and will be available on the Xbox Game Pass.
More Tomb Raider 25th Anniversary News
The official announcement of Tomb Raider Definitive Survivor Trilogy finally came, although it was slightly spoiled after it popped up on the PlayStation and Microsoft Stores before the start of the event.
In addition to this, Square Enix also announced multiple projects in the works or already available to help mark the 25th Anniversary of the Tomb Raider franchise.
Chief among them is the Tomb Raider anime series that is a collaborative effort between Square Enix, Netflix, and Legendary Television. They also added that they are already working on crossovers with other franchises. This includes Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
For those who have an affinity for cooking, Square Enix also announced a Tomb Raider cookbook from Insight Editions. The said cookbook will contain recipes from Lara Croft herself.
Lastly, Square Enix added that you'll get to see more of Lara Croft in Fortnite.
If you don't already know it yet, but, Lara Croft is already available to play in Fortnite. As a bonus, Fortnite Creative will have Croft Manor as a playable adventure starting on March 23 as part of the collaboration.
Just Cause Mobile
Hands up if you ever thought that you'd see the day that you'd get to play Just Cause on your phone.
Nearly three years after the release of Just Cause 4, the franchise's signature explosive action will now be available on the go. More importantly, it'll let players create their own agents and join in a special Agency division known as Firebrand whose goal is to put a stop to the all-new Darkwater mercenary group.
To help with the cause, players can enlist the help of other allies. This includes Rico Rodriguez himself, the longtime protagonist of the mainline series of games.
Just Cause Mobile will reportedly have both single-player and multiplayer components with what Square Enix refers to as "fast-paced top-down gameplay", as well as all the "grappling, gliding, and shooting" that fans have come to expect from the franchise.
Just Cause Mobile is expected to come out sometime in 2021.
Hitman Sniper Assassins
Another mobile title will arrive courtesy of Square Enix Montréal in the form of Hitman Sniper Assassins.
The game will follow an original story and is being developed by seasoned veterans. This includes those who've had a hand in other mobile titles like Hitman Sniper®, Lara Croft GO®, Hitman GO® , and Deus Ex GO®.
Space Invaders AR
Space Invaders AR was also one of the highlights of the showcase. The unexpected title is currently being developed by Square Enix Montréal in collaboration with the original makers of the iconic video game series, TAITO.
Square Enix claims that Space Invaders AR will take the franchise in an "innovative new direction" and will use modern art style, as well as proprietary AR technology.
No release date was given for Space Invaders AR.
TOUHOU Spell Bubble - Side Story Pack Sanae Arc
Also included in Square Enix Presents is the upcoming expansion for the rhythm puzzle title on the Nintendo Switch.
Side Story Pack Sanae Arc will arrive for TOUHOU Spell Bubble on March 25 and will feature Sanae's attempt to organize a Spell Bubble Tournament with demanding sponsors threatening whether or not the tournament will pull through or not.
Darius Cozmic Revelation
Darius Cozmic Revelation is a collection of multiple classic shoot 'em-ups.
The first of the said titles is G-Darius HD. It is an updated version of the classic arcade title G-Darius, which is also available in its original form as part of the package. Also available is the former arcade-exclusive G-Darius Ver.2 in its original arcade form and an HD version.
In addition to this, Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is a port of the PSP-exclusive DARIUSBURST Chronicle Saviours with a couple of noteworthy additions.
The shoot 'em up collection will be available in late 2021 for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends brings the latest adventures of the bubbly Bub and Bob duo to the Steam platform.
This new version is more than just a port. It'll add tons of new content such as new power-ups and 200 stages, as well as support for a 4-player local co-op. It will also let players play through the original arcade version of Bubble Bobble and will include "The Baron is Back " update to the game.
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is already out on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch platforms, with the Steam version soon to follow.
Marvel's Avengers Black Panther: War for Wakanda
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics seem intent to see things through with Marvel's Avengers.
One of the highlights of the events was the reveal of The War for Wakanda expansion for the 2020 action role-playing superhero brawler title.
Also revealed during the showcase was the arrival of Marvel's Avengers - Operation: Hawkeye - Future Imperfect update. The said update was teased earlier in February. It will add Clint Barton's bow-wielding Hawkeye to the game's roster of superheroes and will feature an all-new story featuring a future villain version of the Hulk known as Maestro.
In addition to a new story and villain to fight against, the free update also adds a new explorable biome, as well as the ability to replay campaign missions and customize HARM rooms.
The next-gen versions of Marvel's Avengers also arrived along with the update. This means that PS5 and Xbox Series S/X players can now finally enjoy all the content in all of its next-gen glory. This includes better visuals with much-faster loading times and support for 4K resolution gameplay and 60 frames per second.
Square Enix also addressed the severe lack of new IPs in the platformer department with the announcement of BALAN WONDERWORLD.
This all-new IP features Leo and Emma, young heroes who are out to save denizens who have found themselves overridden by all the negativity in the world. The duo will combat the ones responsible for this plague by using a wide range of abilities and costumes that are sure to pique the interest of younger audiences.
BALAN WONDERWORLD is expected to launch on March 26.
Formerly known as Project Athia, the PS5-exclusive game finally received a name in the form of "Forspoken".
Square Enix did not reveal much of Forspoken at the Square Enix Presents showcase. However, fans were treated to a couple of key pieces of information. This includes the game's fantasy setting, a couple of second's worth of gameplay footage, as well as Frey, the game's supposedly ordinary female main character.
Forspoken is expected to release in 2022 for the PlayStation 5, as well as the PC.
Life Is Strange: True Colors
The main highlight of the event was the latest installment in the Life is Strange franchise.
Life is Strange: True Colors will put players in the shoes of Alex, who has a supernatural psychic ability known as Empathy. This lets her absorb and manipulate other people's powers, as well as experience them for herself.
The game will guide players through Alex's journey of self-discovery that sees her finally embracing her "curse" following the unexpected death of his brother. Along the way, players will get a chance to explore the seemingly quaint town of Haven Springs and discover all the dark secrets that it's hiding.
The next-gen title will have full performance capture. It will also have a soundtrack that features a healthy mix of licensed songs and new tracks.
Also included near the end of the reveal of the Life is Strange Remastered Collection that will release as part of the Life is Strange: True Colors Ultimate Edition. The said collection will include both the original Life is Strange and its follow-up, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, with enhanced graphics.
Life is Strange: True Colors will release as a full game in September 2021 with the standalone version of the Life is Strange Remastered Collection being made available soon after.